While A Call to Duty was something of an introduction to a time before the Star Kingdom of Manticore was a major power, A Call To Arms takes the time to show the reader just how messed up things are. Politicians spend more time trying to manipulate the system for their own game than they do considering the consequences, pirates and outside influences see Manticore as vulnerable and weak, and even the colonists of Manticore seem to have a low opinion of what they might accomplish. In all, it sets up a number of nasty repercussions as all of these factors come due.
Travis Uriah Long, the main character from the last book, along with a number of new and old characters, finds himself at the center of those repercussions. David Weber and Timothy Zahn do an excellent job of weaving several character arcs and stories, some that end with victory, some with barest survival… and a few in tragic death. While I enjoyed A Call to Duty, I loved reading A Call To Arms.
Overall, the story itself doesn’t explore any new themes to those familiar with either author’s works. Duty, courage, standing up for what is right, and with a good amount of self-sacrifice thrown in. Yet where this book really shines is how it approaches these themes with fresh eyes, exploring them from the perspective of someone who doesn’t seem to be cut from the same hero material as Honor Harrington. Travis is a young man who is just discovering who he is, which makes his efforts and sacrifices all the more impressive. The Star Kingdom of Manticore, too, is a new nation, just getting their feet under them and developing the first processes that will make it the mighty power later on in the Honorverse.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it and the first book of the series to all fans of military science fiction and space opera. An excellent book, well worth the read.
Here is my review of the first book, A Call to Duty.
From multiple New York Times best selling author David Weber and #1 New York Times best selling author Timothy Zahn. NEW ENTRY IN BEST-SELLING SERIES. Book #2 in the Manticore Ascendant series, set in David Weber’s Honorverse.
Lieutenant Travis Long of the Royal Manticoran Navy is the sort of person who likes an orderly universe. One where people follow the rules.
Unfortunately, he lives in the real universe.
The good news is that Travis is one of those rare people who may like rules but has a talent for thinking outside them when everything starts coming apart. That talent has stood him—and the Star Kingdom—in good stead in the past, and it’s one reason he’s now a “mustang,” an ex-enlisted man who’s been given a commission as a King’s officer.
The bad news is that two of the best ways of making enemies ever invented are insisting on enforcing the rules . . . and thinking outside them when other people don’t. Travis learned that lesson the hard way as a young volunteer in basic training, and he knows that if he could just keep his head down, turn a blind eye to violations of the rules, and avoid stepping on senior officers’ toes, he’d do just fine. But the one rule Travis Long absolutely can’t break is the one that says an officer in the Royal Navy does his duty, whatever the consequences.
At the moment, there are powerful forces in the young Star Kingdom of Manticore’s Parliament which don’t think they need him. For that matter, they’re pretty sure they don’t need the Royal Manticoran Navy, either. After all, what does a sleepy little single-system star nation on the outer edge of the explored galaxy need with a navy?
Unhappily for them, the edge of the explored galaxy can be a far more dangerous place than they think it is. They’re about to find out why they need the Navy . . . and how very, very fortunate they are that Travis Long is in it.
You can get it from Amazon here.